Star-studded cast comes to town
Wilcox tourney draws top basketball talent
Friday, May 03, 2013 7:00 PM
MARINETTE - Peter Wilcox would've loved this - a former NBA player and college basketball players of the past and present matching their skills for a good cause.
Jason Boucher flips a shot over Sam Larson during the Peter Wilcox Memorial Tournament Friday night in the P.F. Neverman Gym.
The second annual Peter Wilcox Basketball Tournament is under way in the P.F. Neverman Gym. The double-elimination 10-team tournament resumes today at 8 a.m., and culminates with the 6 p.m. championship game.
The tourney namesake grew up in Coleman and played basketball at Faith Christian School. Wilcox drowned in a lake near Eagle River four years ago.
His father, Claude, was impressed with the talent on hand for the tourney.
"What would Peter say? I would say he would be humbled by it," Claude said. "He would just hope everybody was just having fun. He liked basketball."
Claude and his wife, Patty, can at least find comfort in the fact that their son's name lives on through a high-quality basketball tourney.
Jeff Nordgaard, who starred at UW-Green Bay, played for the Milwaukee Bucks in 1997-'98, and later played in European leagues. Nordgaard's strong post play and slick no-look passes were on display Friday night.
A team led by former Menominee Maroon Brett Beland defeated a team which included ex-Maroon Jason Boucher, who has carved out an excellent basketball career in Europe. Among Boucher's teammates are Peshtigo native Tyler Kazmierkoski, who starred at Northern Michigan University; and Ben Kitkowski, Marinette's all-time leading scorer.
Among Beland's teammates were Former De Pere redbirds star Kael Coleman, who plays at Alabama-Huntsville; former Maroons and UW-Marinette Buccaneers Aaron VanDomelen and James Graham; former Maroon Sam Larson; Aaron Faulkner and Mike Mickelson of St. Norbert College; and former St. Thomas Aquinas Academy standout Steve Schahczenski, the Twin Cities' all-time scoring leader.
Admission is $2. Where else can you see Deion James, a former Tulsa Hurricane and UW-Milwaukee player, go up for a breakaway and get rejected by Kiefer Powers, a junior at STAA?
Some of the proceeds will be earmarked for drug prevention in the Twin Cities.
The event was organized by Marinette High School alum Brandon Gauthier, who formed Up North Hoops, a nonprofit organization which addresses crime issues. The organization seeks to build a better community through basketball fundraisers.
"We wanted to have good, clean fun," Claude Wilcox said. "That's what the tournament's all about."